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Years ago, there was an old adage that said, “The three most important elements for a successful business are location, location, location.”
Today, however, three of the most important elements of having a successful business are marketing, marketing, marketing.
Of course, having a unique and valuable product or service, a reputation based on integrity, and a good sense for building relationships are still foremost when it comes to running a successful business.
Moreover, once you have established a product or service that speaks for itself, and a reputation of integrity, it’s now time to step forward and market those goods or services. With more and more businesses moving online, the need for online marketing is ever-expanding. Online marketing stands to be one of the most lucrative ways for businesses to reach optimal success and increase their bottom line. Affiliate marketing is one of those ways.
What is Affiliate Marketing?
Affiliate marketing is a style of marketing wherein a business compensates an affiliate every time a consumer is directed toward that business through the affiliate website and/or its own marketing plans.
The Key Players
For the most part, similar to a board game, there are three key players in the game known as affiliate marketing.
The Seller – The seller is the company offering their products or services.
The Promoter – The promoter is someone who is willing to advertise or further promote the Seller’s products or services.
The Purchaser – The last piece of the puzzle, but of equal importance, is the individual who views the advertisement, maybe clicking on it or on a link associated with it, or giving his or her personal information by filling out a form for a follow through. This can then redirect them to the seller’s site whereby he or she gets to complete a transaction.
Basically, affiliate marketing is when you – as a promoter – advertise a company’s product or service in exchange for revenue, otherwise known as a commission.
From the Beginning
Although your website may not be a brick and mortar store, it is still a business, and you need to treat it as one. Just as it is important to create a business plan for a new business, it is necessary to create an outline for your new website.
What are Your Passions, Hobbies or Interests? – Take some time to put pen to paper and discover what your passions and interests are, as well as your hobbies. Why is this important? Well, for the most part, anything you do in business – whether it is a brick and mortar or an online business – needs one crucial ingredient. That ingredient is your passion.
Remember, in marketing no one likes to be sold anything, but people do love to buy. If you are not passionate about what you are creating, it will show. When it comes time to associate yourself with similar goods or services to sell through affiliate marketing, you want to have a successful money making website from the onset.
Make a List and Check it Twice – Make a list and take a good look at your passions, desires, hobbies, and interests. Do any of these look appealing to you? Ask your family members, friends, and co-workers if this is a subject that is appealing to them as well. Dig a little deeper. Are you interested in gardening, for example?
There are hundreds if not thousands of sites on that subject. Why not dig a little deeper and create a sub-topic on eco-friendly gardening or roof top gardening or gardening for baby boomers? By creating a sub-topic you are now able to hone in on your target audience.
One of the most basic tools necessary in marketing is to know your target audience. In order to effectively market your website, there has to be a need and desire for it from potential viewers. If your website teaches something or offers help in some area, then there is a better chance to market and monetize your site in the first place.
Check out the Competition – Once you have honed in on your target audience and chosen your subject for your website, take some time to check out the competition. In this way, you can see what works for that competitor, what doesn’t work, and what you can do to make your site more unique and engaging.
While you are checking out the competition, you can take a look at the competitors’ affiliate ads, banner ads, and links to get a good feel for how your future affiliate marketing will look.
If you already have a website established, there are a few things you want to make certain of before you look into affiliate marketing:
• Are you highly interested in this topic? Are you being authentic in your
enthusiasm for the subject matter? • Is it a site that has a lot of value and interest for others? • Do you have the opportunity to write quite often on the subject? • Is there a continuing need for information on this subject? • Is there a growing interest in this subject? • Do you keenly know your target audience in order to market to them? • Will you have the possibility of developing many fans?
If any of these components are missing from your already existing site, you may wish to revisit your site and enhance it all the more.
Once you have an established website with a fan base, you can then move onto monetizing your site. Monetizing generally means to make money from your website.